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Making It Human: How Athletes Brought The Hub To Life

When it comes to strong social media content, human stories shine. Social media users reward good storytelling, and love content that revolves around interesting characters. This means just posting about your brand’s product or service won’t cut it – you have to put a face to the offering, and a name to the face. 

That’s exactly what we did for Singapore Sports Hub.

In a year where the vibrant events hub was limited by Covid-19 restrictions, we needed to drive interest another way. So we took to social media with a narrative in mind: Singapore Sports Hub is the home of Team Singapore athletes Chasing the Medal. 

Nailing the profiles for Chasing the Medal

Working with the Singapore Sports Hub team, we identified four first-time Olympic contenders  and a decorated Paralympian as potential profiles. All 5 individuals were dynamic, driven athletes who spent between 6 to 30 hours a week training at the Hub. 

We were certain that they had strong and compelling stories to tell, and we spent time getting to know Jonathan, Kiria, Jia Min, Freida and Pin Xiu. Through interviews and research, we uncovered fun and interesting details about every person. And it wasn’t just about their sporting careers – almost the opposite. The most valuable questions we asked were the ones that elicited personal emotion and fun facts. Here’s the key: if you think of the people you’re profiling as real human beings, then your audience will, too. Don’t get caught up in the key messages – working that in comes naturally once the story falls into place.

Telling their stories

After getting to know the athletes, we started to streamline our storytelling process. What did we want our audiences to know about this athlete? How did we want to convey it? And, importantly: how did Singapore Sports Hub fit into that picture? To prevent a force fit, we paid special attention to seamlessly integrate the Hub into every part of the Chasing the Medal series. 

We ensured that Singapore Sports Hub was visually relevant – all athletes were pictured training or competing within the Hub – but more importantly, we ensured that the Hub was a foundation for every story, even as the athletes took center stage. The format was key for this: Instagram Stories allowed us to portray authentic social content native to the platform, with a variety of interactive elements including trivia, polls, Q&A boxes and sliders to maximize audience engagement. 

We also made sure to tie every trivia point back to the athlete’s career and training within the Hub. For example, an interactive quiz introducing diver Jonathan prompted audiences to guess his secret fear, which included a deliberately wrong option for heights (the answer was spiders). 

This “fun fact” was a segue into Jonathan’s sport: the 10m platform dive, which he trained for within the OCBC Aquatic Centre. By drawing meaningful links between fun social content and our purpose, we stayed focused on delivering our key narrative, and drove home the message through every touchpoint, i.e –  Singapore Sports Hub is the home of Team Singapore athletes Chasing the Medal.

Amplifying our reach

In putting together the series, we collaborated closely with many parties – not just the athletes themselves, but their respective sport associations, Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore National Paralympic Council, Singapore Disability Sports Council, and of course, Team Singapore. Across the five stories, we secured reposts from every mentioned party, strongly extending the reach of our stories through organic amplification.

Ultimately, we secured a total of 25,580 impressions and 1,732 user element interactions, with an average clickthrough-to-end rate of 77%, higher than the industry average for such long-form edutainment series. More importantly, we received direct feedback and encouragement from our followers, giving us confidence that we achieved our goal of positioning the Hub as a central supporting icon and host training ground to national athletes.

The results speak for themselves: human stories will always capture the hearts and minds of social media users. Singapore Sports Hub was thrilled with the outcome, and made Chasing the Medal a long-running series featuring athletes of every major game. When you head to their Instagram page today, you’ll still see the stories highlighted at the top of their profile. 

Leveraging human stories can bring your brand to life – so find your profiles, tell their stories, and amplify your reach today.

Looking for a team to help you bring your brand to life on social media? Reach out to us at [email protected].

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